Wildlife Poaching Thought to Bankroll International Terrorism
Top diplomats and retired U.S. military officials are urging Western
and African governments to step up the global fight against illegal
Adding new pressure ahead of a major February summit slated to take
place in the United Kingdom on the subject, a growing body of evidence
suggests that wildlife poaching is funding criminal and terrorist
organisations in several parts of Africa. These groups include
Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda
and South Sudan, who have reportedly turned to the killing of wild
rhinoceros, elephants and other protected species to sell their tusks.
Such trafficking is associated with a massively lucrative illicit trade.
“Although there’s been a lot of progress [against poaching], we still
haven’t been able to stop this crime. We still haven’t achieved
momentum,” Gen. Carter Ham, a recently retired U.S. Army general who
headed the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) until April of last year, said
Friday. “Now is the time.”
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